Ray Charles dies at 73

June 10, 2004 at 5:22 PM

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 10 (UPI) -- Ray Charles, a 12-time Grammy-winning singer-pianist who pioneered the blending of country and R&B, died Thursday at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 73.

Publicist Jerry Digney said Charles died of complications due to liver disease. Charles recently had successful hip-replacement surgery in Los Angeles, but doctors diagnosed other ailments and he never returned to good health.

Charles had recently completed work on "Genius Loves Company," a new album of duets with such artists as Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor.

In his last public appearance April 30, Charles joined Clint Eastwood for a dedication ceremony as the city of Los Angeles designated his studios a historic landmark.

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